Witcher author demands $16 million dollars from CD Projekt Red

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Andrzej Sapkowski, known for writing the series of novels that would be adapted into the video game franchise of The Witcher, is threatening developer CD Projekt Red with legal action. Sapowski demands about $16.1 million in royalty fees for the success of The Witcher intellectual property. The demand stems from a Polish law that states if a creator isn’t given a proportionate amount of money for their creation, then they’re due to claim more in a settlement. CD Projekt Red opposes Sapkowski’s demands, claiming that they paid a flat fee when originally securing the rights to make a series of video games. Originally, the company approached the author with plans to offer a percentage of profits from sales, but Sapkowski believed that the games would be unsuccessful, so he took an initial one time payment instead. CD Projekt Red has until October 9th to come to a conclusion on the matter, or else they’ll face legal troubles.

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Wolfy

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Wow, so as a result on how well they did he back-pedaled thinking he now has the right to the money after originally refusing the idea?

Geez...could've just taken the money and said welp, guess I screwed up. No, apparently not.
 
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Tony_93

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How? Why? I'm sure they had a lawyer draw up the contract in the first place. Good luck with that one.
The demand stems from a Polish law that states if a creator isn’t given a proportionate amount of money for their creation, then they’re due to claim more in a settlement.

In the USA he would be SoL, but this is another country and if the law there states that people can still get more money after deemed underpaid he might have something to bite. I hope he doesn't get a penny, this is GREED at it's finest form.
 

Axido

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He could very well be legally entitled to get what he demands. Maybe not a total of 16 million, but that's for a judge to decide on, right?
For us mere observers there's not enough information to give any estimate, however.

Did the one-time payment rule out the possibility of applying that specific law?
Was there a contract stating that his compensation is final? And if so, does the law overrule such a statement?
Does the law itself have to be understood in a way that the compensation, once paid, is a final amount never to be changed again? OR is it a vital part of said law that the payment is supposed to be changed if the compensation is not proportionate anymore?

In the latter case his chances are pretty good. Law has to be taken literally, not the way something "feels right" or should be in a matter of moral. And even if the result feels irritating, that's not the fault of those who apply it, but of those who wrote it.


I for one wouldn't mind such a law, since being a creator is a real gamble for most in the field. Why not at least ensure a proper financial compensation for those that get lucky? That being said the hate on someone who added a crucial aspect to a franchise that has become one of the most famous in the world is as unproportional as that guy's payment.
 
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Shadowfied

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He made the mistake to not believe in his IP.
While I agree with you that he dug his own grave, it wasn't really about believing his IP or not, anyone can easily butcher an IP. CD Projekt had no portfolio either. Without getting to see a demo or anything, and depending on the authors situation in life, it might had been fair enough to go for the one time deal. Of course, it's a dick move to now think you're entitled to more after the fact.
 
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Veho

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Kind of a dick move by the author. He has a legally valid claim to additional compensation but it's still a dick move.

I expect them to settle for a much smaller sum than what he's asking for, that's how those things work.


How? Why? I'm sure they had a lawyer draw up the contract in the first place. Good luck with that one.
The contract becomes invalid if it breaches a current law that existed at the time of signing. If the contract doesn't cover for legal contingencies (as is the case here) then they must have a shitty lawyer.

when will artist and authors learn to never sell their shit for flat rates, always license with tiers
Not all authors are famous enough to dictate their own terms. Most take what they can get, and no publisher is willing to just hand out both a flat fee and a percentage.
 

SG854

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While I agree with you that he dug his own grave, it wasn't really about believing his IP or not, anyone can easily butcher an IP. CD Projekt had no portfolio either. Without getting to see a demo or anything, and depending on the authors situation in life, it might had been fair enough to go for the one time deal. Of course, it's a dick move to now think you're entitled to more after the fact.
True, it’s sort of a gamble. What’s the better choice? Many IP’s have failed and the one time payment was the better option. It’s a risks VS reward thing, higher risk yields higher reward. But it’s your choice and should own up to your choices.
 
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